What a rush -- Peterson chooses USC
Basketball players sometimes rush a shot.
Drew Peterson, a basketball player, hurried a decision.
"I did mess up," the former Libertyville star said. "I promised Minnesota I was coming there. I take the responsibility for that one."
The 6-foot-8 guard/forward verbally committed to the University of Southern California on May 11. His announcement on Twitter came less than two weeks after he gave a verbal commitment to the University after Minnesota, only to announce a couple of days later he was reopening his recruitment. A month earlier, coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for Rice University, he announced he was entering the NCAA transfer portal.
For those keeping track, that's Houston to Minneapolis to Los Angeles in less than two months, even though due to the COVID-19 pandemic Peterson hasn't stepped on the campuses of either Minnesota or USC.
"My parents were down in Florida when I made the decision (to commit to Minnesota), and I was up in Chicago, so I feel like I rushed it given the lot of moving pieces," said Peterson, also noting the inability to visit campuses and having to communicate basically through Zoom conferencing. "I just wanted to take a step back. It's nothing against Minnesota. I think they have a phenomenal program, and anyone would be very fortunate to play there."
After Peterson backed off his Minnesota commitment, he says he still considered the Big Ten school a potential landing spot for him. Ultimately, he thought USC was the "best fit" for him. The Trojans finished 22-9, including 11-7 in the PAC-12, this past season. They are 132-102 in head coach Andy Enfield's seven seasons.
"I was just blown away by everything, especially L.A., the USC name, and the system they got going on," said Peterson, who averaged 11.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in his second season for Rice. "I think that we're heading in the right direction. We got a really good recruiting class coming in, a lot of transfers coming in. I think we got a really good shot to win conference."
The NCAA is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to allow a one-time transfer waiver. If it votes yes, Peterson would be eligible to play immediately for USC. Otherwise, he will have to redshirt. He has two years of eligibility remaining.
Peterson received some negative comments on his Twitter account after he flip-flopped on Minnesota so quickly. He understood it.
"I didn't mind it," he said. "I don't think [the criticism] is necessarily something that I shy away from. I think if you got people calling your name and stuff like that, and even hating, you've built a big enough brand that it allows [them] to do that. I know it comes with the job."